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Loma Linda Sunday mail delivery to expire

April 1, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Believe it or not, there is one local community, and two others in the United States, where mail delivery has been taking place on Sunday instead of Saturday.

It's a long tradition, for religious reasons. But Sunday delivery is about to be canceled.

Mail deliveries on the weekends have always happened on Sundays in Loma Linda, a practice that seemed out of step with the rest of the country's Saturday delivery.

But this month the U.S. Postal Service will begin switching the community to a standard Saturday delivery.

"There will be a savings. Obviously, employees get Sunday premium pay when they work on Sundays, so that alone. And there is a transportation issue -- we have to pay extra for transportation for Sunday delivery," said Loma Linda Postmaster Dan Mesa.

Last year, the postal service lost $8.5 billion and has been looking to cut costs wherever it can.

A letter was sent out to Loma Linda residents notifying them of the change.

Loma Linda is one of three communities that still receive Sunday mail deliveries. All three were founded under the Seventh-day Adventist faith.

The other two communities are located in Northern California and Tennessee.

Saturday is considered a day of worship for the Seventh-day Adventist community.

In the 1930s the post service agreed it would not make deliveries out of consideration. But as times have changed the federal agency and the community have had to adjust.

"There were lots of things in Loma Linda that represented Seventh-day Adventist values, in terms of liquor availability and things. And there's been of course a large population that is not Seventh-day Adventist now, so those things have changed," said Loma Linda resident Judy Whitehouse.

Mickey Ask, who used to live in the city, says Saturday or Sunday doesn't make a big difference.

"We get everything through email and you're just getting junk mail anyway so it's probably a good thing," said Ask.

Starting April 23, a Saturday, postal carriers will begin delivering letters and packages, ending seven decades of Sunday deliveries.

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